As of late, Chris has been somewhat forgetful. For two months in a row, she forgot her doctor’s appointment and needs to reschedule. And she even overlooked running the dishwasher before bed (looks like she’ll be handwashing her coffee cup today). Things have been getting lost lately. Curiously, Chris doesn’t necessarily feel forgetful…she simply feels mentally depleted and fatigued all the time.
It can be challenging to recognize that feeling until it’s sneaking up on you. Frequently, though, the problem isn’t your memory, in spite of how forgetful you may appear. The real problem is your hearing. And that means you can substantially improve your memory by using one small device.
How to Enhance Your Memory And Overall Cognitive Function
So, getting a hearing test is the first measure to improve your memory so you will not forget that eye exam and not forget anyone’s name in the next meeting. A typical hearing screening will be able to determine if you have hearing loss and how bad any impairment might be.
Chris hesitates, though, because she hasn’t observed any symptoms or signs of hearing loss. She doesn’t really have difficulty hearing in a noisy room. And she’s never had a hard time listening to any of her team members at work.
But just because her symptoms aren’t noticeable doesn’t mean that they don’t exist. In fact, memory loss is frequently one of the very first detectable symptoms of hearing loss. And it all involves brain strain. It works like this:
- Your hearing starts to fade, perhaps so slowly you don’t realize.
- Your ears notice a lack of sound, however slight.
- Your brain starts working a little harder to translate and boost the sounds you can hear.
- Everything feels normal, but it takes more effort from your brain to comprehend the sounds.
Your brain only has a limited amount of processing power which can really be stressed by that type of burden. So things like memory and cognitive function get pushed to the back.
Dementia And Hearing Loss
If you take memory loss to its most logical extremes, you might end up dealing with something like dementia. And dementia and hearing loss do have a link, though there are a number of other factors at work and the cause and effect relationship remains rather uncertain. Still, individuals with neglected hearing loss, over time, have a higher risk for having cognitive decline, which can begin as memory loss and ultimately (over the years) develop into more serious concerns.
Wearing Hearing Aids Can Help You Avoid Fatigue
That’s the reason why managing your hearing loss is essential. According to one study, 97.3% of those with hearing loss who used hearing aids for at least 18 months showed a noticeable stabilization or increase in their cognitive abilities.
Similar benefits have been observed in several other studies. Hearing aids really help. When your brain doesn’t need to strain quite as hard, your overall cognitive function improves. Sure, a hearing aid isn’t a memory panacea, memory problems and cognitive decline can be a complicated mixture of causes and elements.
The First Sign of Hearing Loss is Often Memory Loss
This kind of memory loss is mostly because of mental fatigue and is normally not permanent. But that can change if the underlying concerns remain neglected.
Memory loss, then, can be somewhat of an early warning system. You should schedule an appointment with your hearing professional as soon as you notice these symptoms. As soon as your underlying hearing problems are addressed, your memory should go back to normal.
As an added bonus, your hearing health will likely get better, as well. A hearing aid can help stop the decline in your hearing. These little devices, in a sense, will enhance your general health not just your hearing.